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Combating effects of flooding in Nigeria

Combating effects of flooding in Nigeria

By Matthew Atungwu

Federal, state, and multinational authorities have been flooding the public with flood alerts, and fear has spread to many areas across the country. The hardship of Nigerians struggling with poverty, food shortages, and insecurity has already been made worse by torrential rainfall that has been wreaking havoc in various regions. The government should act quickly and proactively to contain and lessen the effects of the flood after being repeatedly warned.

The Lagos State Government has also advised citizens to get ready for flooding in various sections of the coastal state this month in response to recent warnings from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and other federal agencies.
The Federal Government reacted quickly to a warning from the Cameroonian government last month about the opening of the Lagdo Dam constructed on the River Benue in the central African nation, including by establishing a Presidential Committee led by Vice-President Kashim Shettima. There are several weak states in Nigeria.

Heavy rains and the release of water from the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority are expected to cause flooding in the South-West states. As a result, the LASG has warned some communities to get ready and advised some people to temporarily leave their houses.

The Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Metrological Services, Nigeria Hydrological Services, National Emergency Management Agency, and others have been regularly releasing warnings of intense rainfall and flash flooding since the beginning of this year.

Read Also: NEMA, SEMA begin sensitization against floods in Adamawa

There are signs that this year’s rains have been greater than usual, and NiMET predicts that they will continue to fall throughout September and into December.

The tragic events of the past, when floods struck devastation in several areas, should not happen again thanks to the ample warning. To lessen the fury of nature, the three tiers of government should take far greater action.

33 out of the 36 states and some of the Federal Capital Territory experienced flooding in 2022. According to official statistics, there were 612 fatalities, 2,400 injuries, 1.4 million displaced people, and the destruction of communities, crops, highways, and bridges. 332,327 hectares of land were impacted, and almost 200,000 dwellings sustained damage.

Since the crisis in 2012, when floods devastated 30 states, killed 363 people, and uprooted roughly 2.1 million people, it was the worst flooding the nation has seen. About N2.6 trillion in losses were attributed to the 2012 floods, and N4.2 trillion are expected in 2022.

This year, floods of varied degrees of severity are possible in the majority of the states. The worst affected are predicted to be 14 states. Ten states were impacted by August, which was caused by climate change among other things. According to NEMA, 7,000 people were relocated, five people were murdered, and 75 were injured.

4.2 million Nigerians may be displaced, and the International Organisation for Migration estimates that at least $20 million in standby money will be required to deliver humanitarian aid.
Those who have been urged to leave towns in flood-prone areas should do so right now.

In addition to planting trees and protecting forests and green spaces to lessen the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, the three tiers of government should implement comprehensive drainage building and maintenance programmes as well as effective town and physical planning. The conversion of agricultural land and unchecked urbanization should be stopped. Residents need to quit clogging drains with trash.

Control should take precedence over post-disaster flood relief as a national priority.

The primary responsibility for preventing floods, delivering relief, relocating people, and rebuilding lies with state governments. They should work with the Federal Government to implement practical methods to handle flooding and reduce casualties.

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